Turkey Sends Arms to Somali Police Unit amid Opposition Concerns

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Turkey has sent a shipment of weapons and armored military vehicles to a special Somali police unit locally known as “Haram’ad” trained and equipped by the Turkish military, following opposition concerns that the military hardware could be used by the current government to “hijack” upcoming elections.

Turkish planes carrying military vehicles, weapons and ammunition landed at Adan Adde airport in Mogadishu on Monday afternoon.

It has come hours after Puntland leader Saeed Deni said on Sunday that troops loyal to the outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo surrounded his residence at Halane base camp.

Opposition leaders and other critics of the Somali leader alleged that Turkish trained Gorgor and Haram’ad special military and police units have been frequently used to suppress dissidents.

The arrival of the Turkish shipment of weapons and military vehicles comes as Haram’ad special police unit is taking hundreds of new recruits, who will be trained and equipped by the Turkish military.

Two regional states have boycotted to attend a meeting convened by Farmajo on Monday after the president ignored their demands on relinquishing his security responsibilities, raising fears that he could use the armed forces to achieve “power grab efforts” and derail the electoral process.

It is not clear whether the weapons sent to the special police unit was part of a shipment the Somali opposition had urged Turkey not to deliver to Haram’ad on December last year in a letter addressed to Turkey’s ambassador in Somalia.

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